Debbie and Sue are accepted into Greenhill Beach's gang, an elite group of teenagers occupying a particular stretch of Cronulla beachfront. As surfie groupies, Debbie and Sue find out that they are expected to submit to male whims and play out 'strange' rituals, such as not eating or going to the bathroom when a boy is around. The girls' life mainly consists of doing what everyone else does: watching the boys surf, having sex with them (in the back seat of cars and at home-alone parties), and getting drunk. The narrative maintains a humorously ironic distance from the awfulness of the scene, particularly through the use of narration. The boys, though portrayed as collectively dominant, are individually consigned to the margins, while Debbie and Sue ultimately break out of the confines of male-imposed rules.
'Sandy, a geologist, finds herself stuck on a field trip to the Pilbara desert with a Japanese man she finds inscrutable, annoying and decidedly arrogant. Hiromitsu's view of her is not much better. Things go from bad to worse when they become stranded in one of the most remote regions on earth. JAPANESE STORY is a journey of change and discovery for its two lead characters.'
Source: Screen Australia.
'A visually haunting story of an adolescent girl's discovery of the difference between sex and love in the winter landscape of an Australian ski resort town.'
Source: Screen Australia.
The Kerrigan family's home is situated right beside one of Melbourne's airports, but they don't mind. In fact, they love living there. When the government and airport authorities announce that they are buying up all the properties in the neighbourhood in order to make way for airport extensions, Darryl decides to defend his right to live in his beloved home. The Castle is the story of how they take on the authorities, all the way to the High Court.
The narrative begins in Western Australia in 1915 and follows the paths of Archie Hamilton and Frank Dunne, before and after their enlistment in the Australian Imperial Forces. Hamilton is the patriotic son of a grazier and Frank Dunne is a drifter with no great desire to fight for the British Empire. They meet as runners in an outback footrace and become best mates. After training in Egypt, they land at Gallipoli, just as the great Allied assaults of August 1915 are to begin.
Source: Australian Screen.
A middle-aged Aboriginal woman nurses her old white mother. During her tending of the old woman, she expresses her frustrations and previously suppressed anger, her own need for warmth and love, and her personal loneliness. Her memories and dreams invade her nerve-fraying routine until the old woman dies and she begins to experience an immense sense of loss.
'In 1806 William Thornhill, a man of quick temper and deep feelings, is transported from the slums of London to New South Wales for the term of his natural life. With his wife Sal and their children he arrives in a harsh land he cannot understand.
'But the colony can turn a convict into a free man. Eight years later Thornhill sails up the Hawkesbury to claim a hundred acres for himself.
'Aboriginal people already live on that river. And other recent arrivals - Thomas Blackwood, Smasher Sullivan and Mrs Herring - are finding their own ways to respond to them.
'Thornhill, a man neither better nor worse than most, soon has to make the most difficult choice of his life.
'Inspired by research into her own family history, Kate Grenville vividly creates the reality of settler life, its longings, dangers and dilemmas. The Secret River is a brilliantly written book, a groundbreaking story about identity, belonging and ownership.' (From the publisher's website.)
Madness, cruelty and sexuality permeate the house where she grew up, but Lilian's sights are set on education, love and - finally - her own transcendent forms of independence. Lilian Singer, who starts life at the beginning of the twentieth century as the daughter of a prosperous middle-class Australian family and ends it as a cheerfully eccentric bag-lady living on the streets, quoting Shakespeare for a living.
Unpolished Gem tells the story of growing up with a Chinese-Cambodian family in Australia, Alice dives headfirst into schooling, romance and the getting of wisdom. Meanwhile, her mother becomes an Aussie Battler - an outworker, that is, her father starts up a chain of electrical appliance stores, and her grandmother blesses Father Government every day for giving old people money. (Back cover blurb).
'Two Shanes is Lee Tulloch’s best and funniest novel. A brilliantly plotted romantic comedy that readers won’t be able to put down, it tells the story of two Australians living in New York, a surfer named Shane Dekker, and Cheyne Burdekin, an aspiring actor. The lives of these strangers overlap in hilariously unpredictable ways, especially after Shane meets the dark-haired Finley Rule in a surf shop, and Cheyne’s old flame Avalon jets in from Brisbane.'
Source: Publisher's blurb.
'From the biggest festival to the smallest church social, Kenny Smyth delivers porta-loos to them all. Ignored and unappreciated, he is one of the cogs in society's machinery; a knight in shining overalls taking care of business with his faithful 'Splashdown' crew.
Follow Kenny as he tackles every septic challenge that comes his way, culminating in a pilgrimage to that Mecca of waste management, the International Pumper and Cleaner Expo in Nashville Tennessee - or as Kenny affectionately calls it, "Poo HQ".
One of Australia's roughest diamonds juggles family tensions, fatherhood and sewage with charm, humour and unflinching dignity.'
Source: http://www.shanejacobson.com.au/kenny/ (Sighted 27/7/11)
Italian sports journalist Nino Culotta is lured to Sydney during the mid-1960s to work for his brother's new magazine for migrant Italians. When he arrives in the country, however, Nino finds out that there is no magazine and that his brother has taken off with the investors' cash. Left in the lurch is his brother's business partner, Kay Kelly. Nino vows to pay off his brother's debt and gets a job as a builder's labourer. In doing so, he learns how to talk, act, and drink like an Australian male. His numerous attempts to woo Kay are repeatedly rebuffed with humorous results, but in the end she falls in love with him. Nino's introduction to the country and its culture finds him bemused but ultimately confident that he has a future here.
The Australian Centre for the Moving Image suggests this film is 'very much a product of the assimilationist view dominating Australian immigration policy at the time'.
Beginning in Australia in the late 1940s, when movie theatres were the only source of audiovisual news coverage, the narrative follows the exploits of Len Maguire and his young sidekick Chris as they cover the big news stories for the Cinetone newsreel company. Len is a doggedly dependable and ever-cautious senior cameraman, trapped in a world of changing values. Len always knows the right thing to do, but becomes troubled as his marriage falters, his job becomes threatened by the arrival of television, and Cinetone is taken over and its work marginalised. Len's loyalties to the Catholic Church, the Labor Party, and his family are juxtaposed against both his brother/rival cameraman Frank--who sells out his values, abandons his responsibilities, and heads off to success in the USA--and his cocky young assistant, Chris.
The first feature film for Phillip Noyce, Newsfront also depicts the increasing changes to the Australian cultural and political landscape, tracing social shifts from the first waves of European post-war immigration through to the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne.
Harry Saunders's decision to join the army during the Second World War and fight for his country is largely motivated by his desire to fight for the rights of Indigenous people. Harry hopes that in fighting alongside the white citizens of Australia, he will help Indigenous people to eventually win citizenship. Prejudice and racism, however, are not so easily overcome, as Harry soon finds out.
(Source: Australian Screen.)
'On a lonely cattle station in the Northern Territory, a newly born Aboriginal baby is adopted by a white woman in place of her own child who has died. The child is raised as a white child and forbidden any contact with the Aborigines on the station. Years later, Jedda is drawn by the mysteries of the Aboriginal people but restrained by her upbringing. Eventually she is fascinated by a full-blood Aboriginal, Marbuck, who arrives at the station seeking work and is drawn to his campfire by his song. He takes her away as his captive and returns to his tribal lands, but he is rejected by his tribe for having broken their marriage taboos. Pursued by the men from Jedda's station and haunted by the death wish of his own tribe, Marbuck is driven insane and finally falls, with Jedda, over a cliff.'
(Synopsis from the Australian Film, Television and Radio School website, http://library.aftrs.edu.au)
'A haunting novel of loss and redemption, Watershed tells with great poignancy and ironic insight the story of Eve and her husband Marconi, whose son David disappeared one day in the Murray River. A novel of contemporary Australian life.' (Source: TROVE)
'Sixty Lights is the captivating chronicle of Lucy Strange, an independent girl growing up in the Victorian world. From her childhood in Australia through to her adolescence in England and Bombay and finally to London, Lucy is fascinated by light and by the new photographic technology. Her perception of the world is passionate and moving, revealed in a series of frozen images captured in the camera of her mind's eye showing her feelings about love, life and loss. In this confident, finely woven and intricate novel Jones has created an unforgettable character in Lucy; visionary, gifted and exuberant, she touches the lives of all who know her.' (Publication summary)
Journal (1500 words) : 2 x 500 word discussions of chosen texts + 1 x 500 word creative response to chosen text.
Essay (2500 words)